I am going to start laying ceramic tile for a basement bathroom. The floor is currently a cement floor in good condition. First off, is there any "easy" way to know that the thinset is mixed properly? After the tile is down, how long should I wait before grouting? And finally, how long after finishing the tile until it is ready for heavy traffic (plumbers installing whirlpool, toilet, etc)? Thanks in advance for the advice!
First of all, always add the powder to liquid. The consistency should be just a little thinner than mashed potatoes...and no lumps. Once you think it's about right, scoop some with a trowel and hold it upside down, the thinset should stay put.
Grouting can be done the next morning unless there is some unusual reason not to. You can allow light traffic the day after grouting, but I would wait a few more days for workmen to get on it. The floor should be protected while non-tile people are working.
I would follow instruction on the bag for amount of water as this is no room for error and first timer to judge the thickness may be too risky.... what I did is separate the powder into four equal portion, using a regular bathroom weight(balance)... then use the quantity of the water in the bag divided by four to do the mixing. it never fail me with this approach...